Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Mangled Dead - Hate Humans (album review)

Rad cover artwork by Tallboy
Here's a band that almost escaped my attention, if not for a timely mention on facebook by the band's other more well known incarnation, the mighty Ice Dragon!  The Mangled Dead is one of three other incarnations (that are known by this fan anyway) of the band, which is less like a dragon and more like a Transformer, or I guess more specifically, a Dino-Bot.  They also shovel doomed sludge under the mantle of Tentacle and dredge bleak emotional states as Slow Heart.  In my review of Tentacle's latest opus 'Ingot Eye' (a review that has so far earned me over a dozen spam emails from sellers of actual ingot), I refrained from mentioning the Ice Dragon connection because it's a different band with a different name (even though it features the same faces) and I felt it deserved to be taken on its own merits and not compared to anything else the guys have done.  Henceforth, I shall take the same approach to the Mangled Dead ...

Well, the cover says it all.

The title track "Hate Humans" was originally released on a four track EP on July 2 2012 according to bandcamp's release date.  It has been re-recorded here in a decidedly punkier fashion.  The chorus lacks the same maniacal drive that propelled the original version forward.  The new version is lethargic by comparison, but has substituted propulsion and energy for an "I just don't give a fuck about anything anymore" ethic.  On the original version Hot Ron doesn't do the vocals on the verse, only on the chorus.  The fact that he does them on the new version changes the feel of the song entirely, never mind the music which is also different.

"Frankenstein Pays The Rent" has already been featured on this blog, in the form of a charming little video the band shot which was featured on 'The Hour of Power'.  Some images just burn in your mind and the monster pulling the guy's hand off as he rides by the bus stop on his skateboard is one of them.  Watch the freakin' video! (do it.)  It doesn't hurt that it's a good song too.

'Hate Humans' flies by in a flash and had me asking whether or not there's a narrative thread tying this whole thing together more than once.  A punk rock concept album?  That's a reversal whose time is ripe, an idea with such attitude it gives punk rock itself the old one finger salute.  "So, punk started as a bad attitude  response to overblown production and technicality in rock, huh?  Well here's a concept album, ya cunts!!" would have made a good summation, but that narrative story feeling is due more to the piss stained aesthetic the band have taken up, classic monsters and punks in fright masks in a mosh pit.  Their unwavering focus to this imagery is what makes it feel like a single story.

The whole thing was recorded on 4-track cassette and the band tends to red line the sound levels at times, such as on "Mutated Dracula" where it's really noticeable.  Such lo-fi recordings add immensely to the charm of this release (something that's true across the board of everything these guys release [okay no more referencing the other projects of The Mangled Dead!]).

I'll admit, I wasn't sure I'd like this thing, as I've never been a big punk fan.  I like 'Never Mind the Bollocks' and some stuff by The Fall and a few other things ... "TV Party", whatever else ... but 'Hate Humans' is made up of a tight group of six fast paced songs that bring to mind, once again, classic monsters doing horrible things to humans and it's a wonderful place to visit.

They also have another song up on bandcamp that kicks major arse called, "Satan's Got My Back".  Grab it, listen to it, spit beer in people's faces, stomp around and enjoy your obnoxious self!

Highlights include: "Frankenstein Pays The Rent" and "Mutated Dracula"

Rating: 4/5

Total Run Time: 13:20

From: Boston, Massachussetts

Genre: Horror Punk

Reminds me of: The Misfits, Monster Squad, Return of the Living Dead

Release Date: March 8, 2013

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Go out on your skateboard, monster huntin'!

Better Review:
In Limbo

The Mangled Dead facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...